The earliest evidence of Reflexology comes from China, circa 2700 BCE.

Most people know ‘reflexology’ as something that is done to your feet but hand reflexology is definitely another technique that is becoming just as popular.

Hand reflexology certainly provides some benefits compared to foot reflexology. The obvious example is that our hands are far more easy accessible compared to our feet, which makes hand reflexology the most usable self-help tool for both adults and children.

Hand and foot reflexology has actually been used as part of medical care since as far back as the ancient Egyptian and classic Chinese times. The basic assumption used by the reflexologist is that each organ, gland and part of the body is reflected in both the hands and the feet. Stimulation of the so-called ‘reflex points’ promotes relaxation, improves circulation and encourages the body to heal itself. This explains why hand reflexologists sometimes use the axiom: “Health is at your fingertips!”

Hand reflexology is also brilliant as a relief from the new stresses technology has placed on our hands.

For lower back pain press the point where the centre of your hand joins your wrist and stimulate it. Always take medical advice if you dont know what the problem is. This is a perfect antidote to backache caused by sitting at a computer for too long.

The reflex is stimulated by direct pressure to the particular point. On the palm and wrist there are some 45 reflex points, and on the back of the hand 28 reflex points, that represent a particular organ, region, or function of the body. Combinations of reflex points are used in Reflex therapies.

Since hand reflexology is performed by applying pressure from fingers and thumbs on reflex points on the hands, the practice can provide an easy, cost-effective and safe way to treat ailments.

While reflexology hand mapping feels best (and may be more effective) when done by someone else, it is possible to work on oneself.

There are a number of online sites that show you how to apply hand reflexology from WikiHow to AOR Hand Reflexology Explorer where you can move the cursor to view the hand reflexology points and what they correspond to.

Try having a go on yourself by pinching the finger tips and thumb of your right hand. The pressure applied to each finger should be firm, but make sure it is not painful. A few seconds for each single finger tip will be sufficient. Now do the same with the other hand. Check with your GP first if you are on medication.





Yogi Surprise

Just love this Yogi Surprise! The first monthly care package created just for yogis. It’s like a yoga retreat in a box – designed to be the perfect complement to your mindful life of movement. It’s available in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Yogi Surprise is a monthly care package designed to complement your way of being — it’s like a retreat in a box! Each box offers the perfect way to nourish and support your mindful life of movement, from each wakeful sun salutation to inspiring evening reflections.

Your life of wellness begins by loving yourself, and what better way to cultivate personal compassion than a consistent box of bliss. The balanced offering of gifts in every Yogi Surprise package will help to keep you in the flow, on and off your mat.

The energy that you exude is an important part of your practice and your productivity, but know that you always have to give back to the source. Be sure to feed your body & soul with wholesome foods, holistic products, and empowering accessories.

Each month, Yogi Surprise will deliver 6-8 full-size products to you designed to complement your active lifestyle of vitality and growth. The products will range from handcrafted yoga accessories and natural beauty items to herbal tonics, organic snacks, and super food essentials.

Even if you can’t get away for an extended wellness retreat, at least you can fill your spirit with everything you need for equanimity. The goodies that come in your Yogi Surprise subscription are designed to stimulate your body, clear your mind, and cleanse your soul.

For an added treat each month, one Yogi Surprise member will win a real retreat vacation. Imagine yourself diving deep into your practice and into the depths of your being, all from the comforts of a beachfront resort or amidst the adventures of a casita deep in the jungle.

What an amazing gift for someone special or for yourself – you can either have 3 months, 6 months or 12 months subscription.




Struggling – if you look up this word in the dictionary it has a number of explanations as to what it means from fight, grapple, wrestle, to strive, endeavor, battle and much more.

To describe what I am going through at the moment I would need to incorporate all of those words and more.

All fibromyalgia patients know the sort of pain we are going through on a daily basis and how we all try to manage/cope with it, but I also have failed back surgery syndrome to manage as well. However I do manage it all most of the time. But this year has been a bit of an uphill struggle for me.

Earlier in the year I started with awful pain in my elbow and down my fingers which after months of different treatments I ended up having Cubital Tunnel Release Surgery. The pain relief was virtually instant and I thought I was managing it all well. But recently I seemed to have slipped down the ladder again.

About six weeks ago I started to experience pain on the outer side of my foot which I initially put down as arthritis but as time and the pain progressed I wondered if maybe I had a small stress fracture. I popped to A&E to get it checked out but they could see no fracture but some arthritis and thought maybe I had sprained my ankle.

I carried on wearing the support elastic but as days went into weeks I was getting no pain relief and had been walking with a limp for some time so I decided to go and visit my GP. After a bit of pressing and prodding around my GP said that she thought it was a Neuroma on my foot and that I needed to see a Podiatrist. She said he/she would probably give me a steroid injection and that should be the end of the problem.

So I came home and duly made an appointment to see a podiatrist but with over six weeks of walking incorrectly my back was really starting to suffer. Then bang two days ago it went into spasm. One of the worst I have had to deal with in a long time as I even needed to wake my husband up in the night to help me get out of bed to use the toilet.


I am a true advocate of mind over matter and have written endless articles on how writing my blog takes me away from my pain. But I have to admit that at the moment I really am struggling. I am obviously run down as I am also recovering from a nasty bout of laryngitis which then developed into a chest, throat and ear infection, so I know I am at rock bottom. But I can honestly feel as I get to the end of my post about my struggle that I already feel a bit lighter having written about it.

I guess there is nothing as strong as the power of your mind when you most need it, especially when you are in pain.


YUU is backing better backs with the launch of their new ergonomic school bag.

With the summer holidays in full swing it won’t be long before parents start thinking about kitting out their child ready for the new school year. The spotlight has been firmly on school bags in recent years with vast research urging parents to think carefully about their child’s school bag and posture in relation to back health.

In response to this, the leading children’s backpack brand YUU are launching their new ergonomically-designed school backpack, YUUschool, along with their ‘backing better backs’ campaign to encourage parents to reassess their child’s backpack and posture to avoid any unnecessary backpain in the future.

Worryingly, according to research carried out by the British Chiropractic Association, a third of parents have reported that their child has suffered from some form of back or neck pain in the past. Whilst backpain can be caused by a number of factors, unsuitable school bags are widely accepted as a common cause. Studies have shown that up to 4 million children in the UK are walking with school bags that are too heavy for them and could potentially be harming their spines. Experts have stated that a child should be able to carry up to 10% of their own bodyweight without causing any damage but a survey by charity BackCare UK highlighted that this is often exceeded, with 11-12 year olds being the highest risk group found to be carrying on average 13% of their body weight (in some cases children were carrying up to 60%!).

Rachael Withe, marketing manager of YUU comments “Any parent would be alarmed to learn of the unseen damage their child’s backpack could be causing. Going to school brings with it a need to carry certain items and although we don’t always have control over the weight of those items, we do have control over the way in which that weight is carried. This is exactly why we have designed the new YUUschool according to ergonomic principals so that weight is distributed evenly and symmetrically over the child’s body.”

Paediatric Osteopath Annie Khenian adds “Children’s spines grow and develop rapidly, especially in adolescence, and it’s imperative that correct posture is maintained and care is taken in these formative years to avoid problems later in life. Many children carry substantial weight to, from and around school on a daily basis. Often the weight of the rucksack pulls children backwards which in turn prompts them to lean forward or arch their backs to keep the weight centred. Over time this position can compress the spine causing pain and discomfort. We would always advise parents to invest in a supportive backpack”

The new YUUschool backpack is packed full of scientific ergonomic features, including vertical compartmentalisation of the pockets so weight is kept higher up and closer to the spine. The s-shaped padded straps are sewn close together not just for additional comfort but also to centralise weight to the body. The deep pockets combined with the secure straps have been thoughtfully designed and positioned to avoid weight falling down into the middle of the bag which causes weight to be unevenly distributed and concentrated in one area causing unnecessary pressure and pain. The full extent of the YUUschool’s ergonomic design and the benefits this brings can be found at https://yuuworld.com/schoolbags/

Kellie Forbes, co-founder of YUU adds “For most parents this time of year is usually a race against the clock to get all the usual supplies of uniform, stationary and books fully stocked. However, this is also the perfect time to re-assess your child’s backpack and make sure it offers suitable protection for the busy year ahead. Our 10-step Backing Better Backs checklist offers a simple risk-assessment that parents can follow to help prevent painful back problems in the future.”

The YUUschool is available to buy from www.yuuworld.com for £40. There is currently a promotion for a “back to school bundle” which includes the YUUschool backpack, a gym bag, a waterbottle, stationary set and notebook for £49.50 (a saving of 25%). The website also offers advice and support for back care, including a 10-step backing better backs checklist.


The Secret Life of Pain is an article in New York Times which a friend sent me to read, and I just felt I had to share with my pain pals.

The article starts off by telling you about the double life that David Roberts, a former academic physicist and diplomat who lives and works in New York City.

He goes on to explain how he hid is chronic pain in many ways, one being that he had an orthotic cushion inside his briefcase and would make a joke out of sitting on the briefcase. He also wore a corset and heat wrap which he disguised under his tailored suit. He had become adept at hiding his back pain from everyone except his family.

He would even sneak upstairs when working at conferences to get some pain relief from his wife who would work on his back. Eventually he had to tell the Embassy where he worked about his double life.

He had medicals and tests and saw a number of people in the medical field but no-one said they could help him. So he joined what he called no-hopers at Mayo’s pain rehabilitation centre. 

At this clinic pain was treated quite different to anywhere else where they explain that the brain becomes addicted to dramatizing pain, and the more you feed it, the stronger the addiction. So, they said, don’t dwell on the pain, and don’t try to fix it – no props, no pills, and eventually the mind should let go.

Obviously he said he was a bit skeptical at the beginning but after reading up on it as much as he possibly could he began to understand that this was quite logical. He decided to give the Mayo clinic program a go. Stripped of all his props the clinic told him to turn his mind towards his breathing.

He tried it, and noticed that as he sat and concentrated on his breathing he could see flickers of awareness. After practicing every day for a couple of months, he was able to sit back and see the difference. Although they try not to talk about the pain anymore, he knows his props are locked up in a cupboard, out of view. He says that the old panic doesn’t rise like it used to, the sensations rise and fall but that he now acts and looks like a healthy man.

I found this article inspirational, and although I have written in the past how I feel that my writing takes me away from my pain, maybe I am wrong and that writing takes my mind away from my pain by focusing on something. Obviously this is no quick fix but certainly ‘mind over matter’, must come into the equation of coping with life in chronic pain.